The Ways The British Government Attempted To Hide The Effects Of The Blitz From The People

1078 words - 4 pages

The Ways the British Government Attempted to Hide the Effects of the Blitz from the People

For the British civilians bearing the home front of the Blitz was both
a frightening and surreal experience. In Britain, most people expect
to be told the truth, and newspapers and radios are allowed to speak
the facts. However once the country was at war it all changed, and the
British people had to accept that the Government who took control of
the media was for the good of the country. Specific facts and details
of bombings weren't shown in the whole truth, and often the news was
twisted to focus on the heroism of the British. This became known as
propaganda and censorship, and were tools to keep the civilians
spirits up.

Propaganda is the battle to win people's thoughts and minds used by
the British Government through the media by convincing the citizens of
Britain that they would win the war while Germany was evil and bound
to loose. By telling the British public a different side of a horrific
event and not informing them of all the facts, morale was kept high
which was the main aim of propaganda. If people new the whole truth of
the war, then they would start to give up resulting in low morale,
strikes, mutiny, and protests against the war. It is vital that when a
country is at war it must have the support of its people. There are
two types of propaganda, Black and White. White propaganda did not
twist the truth, but instead used real figures and information and
highlighted the news, whilst black propaganda ignored the truth, and
told lies about the enemy to its civilians.

To control other information, the government needed to use censorship,
which was where the government would examine sources of information,
and then delete it so that they could control what information the
public was to see. This was used in countries like Germany and Italy
and was done using great force, whereas in Great Britain it needed to
be subtler. By using government guidelines the media censored itself,
however the government would step in if these rules were broken. In
either Democracies or Dictatorships the result was the same - any
information that may affect morale and the war effort was to be
banned.

So the Government needed to have the full support of the media in
order to "Brain wash" the people of Britain, and if the media did not
co-operate then newspapers and magazines were closed down. At the
start of WW2 the Government set up the Ministry of Information to
control what was being said to the British public. It was the job of
the ministry to persuade people that victory was at hand despite the
massive destruction and death toll around them....

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